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Flocculation of natural organic matter in Swedish lakes
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10,5 credits / 16 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Flocculation is an important part of the carbon cycle. It is therefore crucial to understand how flocculation is regulated and how different environmental factors impact. A dilemma is that it has been found difficult to measure flocculation experimentally.

In this thesis, flocculation of dissolved organic carbon in a Swedish lake was measured in a series of laboratory experiments. The method used was Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS). DLS is used to determine the size distribution profile of, for instance, small particles in suspension. DLS measures Brownian motion and relates it to the particle size by measuring the fluctuation in scattering intensity. It is not very effective to measure the frequency spectrum contained in the intensity fluctuations directly, so instead, a digital auto correlator is used.

Since factors such as pH, salinity and calcium chloride content varies in lakes and is thought to have an impact on flocculation, this was investigated as well. As pH was changed in a range of 3 to 9, small changes in size distribution could be detected. Salinity and calcium chloride content have quite an impact on flocculation. Time also has a great impact, samples that were set to rest for a week showed a significant increase in particle size.

For DLS to work, the samples need to be filtered of centrifuged to get rid of large particles. Different types of filters were tested to see which filter material was the best to use. When filtering the water we only want to filter out the large particles. Natural organic matter has a hydrophobic component which adsorbs to some filter types but not to others. It is crucial to know which filters this hydrophobic component adsorbs to, so that the loss of dissolved organic carbon during filtration can be minimalized.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 30 p.
Keyword [en]
Flocculation, Dynamic Light Scattering
National Category
Other Chemical Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-85118ISRN: LITH-IFM-G-EX--12/2570--SEOAI: diva2:564879
Subject / course
Chemical Engineering
Life Earth Science
Available from: 2012-11-13 Created: 2012-11-05 Last updated: 2012-11-13Bibliographically approved

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